There was a time when a church succession plan was as simple as having a farewell reception for the previous pastor and creating a pulpit committee to find the next one. Today, particularly with the growth of larger churches, there is a need for a more intentional process. In the new book Next: Pastoral Succession That Works (Baker Books), William Vanderbloemen and Warren Bird explain why churches need a succession plan and offer guidance in developing an effective plan. The book is filled with stories of successful successions, as well as horror stories about when it doesn’t go well. The authors also offer guidance to the outgoing pastor about crafting a smooth transition and preparing the way for the next pastor.
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